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In celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness month, we are highlighting Maine AgrAbility!

What is AgrAbility?

The AgrAbility Project supports Americans in the agriculture sector with disabilities in numerous ways throughout the United States! Maine is simply one of them.

The goal of the Maine AgrAbility Project is to “assist owners, operators, managers, employees and family members of farm, fishing or forestry businesses,” as their website explains. Maine AgrAbility aims to educate agricultural workers, particularly those who have been impacted by a disability.

What are some examples of their work?

This summer the Maine AgrAbility team participated in community events throughout the state, while also working with clients. For example, in May, this article was published explaining their work with veterans and their program for farmers experiencing disability issues that relate to their service in the military. In June the team participated in Franklin County’s 100 year celebration! In August they advocated for and explained adaptive hand tools, stretching techniques, and discussed common health issues of production agricultural workers. Check out their August news report!

Who do they work with?

Destination Occupation features three of their recipients and helps to tell their stories. Learn more about the lives of farmers, Jesse and Holly, and fisherman, Steven. Maine AgrAbility helps them identify resources, learn how to diversify their income, tailor their work to their disabilities, and ultimately achieve independence!

Their unique stories include experiences as an army nurse, food truck owner, business plan creator, fence-mender, lobsterman, captain, wheelchair-user, and organic farmers.

In the words of Holly, “They (AgrAbility) made it possible for us to find the people we needed to make what we wanted to do possible!” Read more here.

Still curious?

AgrAbility’s efforts span far beyond Maine! To read more about how AgrAbility is supporting farmers in Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois, take a look at this Portland Press Herald article!

For more information about Maine’s AgrAbility Project, contact: maine.agrability@maine.edu or Disability Awareness Month!